Against the background of judicial intrigues by political interest groups, the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, yesterday opened up on its plans to hold supplementary governorship and legislative elections in 18 states tomorrow where the polls had been declared inconclusive. A voter casts his ballot at a polling station in a IDP camp in Maiduguri on February 23, 2019 as Nigerians began voting for a new president after a week-long delay that has raised political tempers, sparked conspiracy claims and stoked fears of violence.
The commission, however, set new timelines to conclude governorship and state legislative elections in Rivers State. National Commissioner and Chairman of Information and Voter Education Committee, Mr Festus Okoye told journalists in Abuja, yesterday, that INEC will resume collation and announcement of results in Rivers State between April 2 and 5, hold supplementary elections on April 13 and release the results on or before April 15.
The supplementary governorship election will hold in six states namely, Bauchi, Kano, Benue, Plateau, and Sokoto. State House of Assembly elections will also hold in 17 states and the Federal Capital Territory. The supplementary governorship election in Bauchi State will, however, not hold in Tafawa Balewa Local Government Area upon a court order.
The state House of Assembly supplementary elections will hold in Adamawa, Bauchi, Bayelsa, Benue, Ebonyi, Edo, Ekiti, Imo, Lagos and Kaduna states. It will also hold in Kano, Kogi, Nasarawa, Osun, Plateau, Sokoto, Taraba and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT. Also, the Federal Government has ordered the closure of land borders in Adamawa, Benue, and Sokoto states during the supplementary polls. Comptroller-General of the Nigeria Immigration Service, Muhammad Babandede, disclosed this in a statement, yesterday, in Abuja.
He said the closure of the borders is with effect from Friday noon to Sunday noon, adding that the aim is to restrict movement across the borders of the affected states during the election. “The public is to take note and ensure compliance,” he said.